The Martin Paterson era in Orlando is officially over.
Orlando City announced today that it has mutually agreed to terminate Paterson's contract, citing "personal reasons" as the decision to let the Northern Ireland striker go.
The 28-year-old forward only played in four games for the Lions this season due to a series of nagging injuries to his hamstring and knee. Expected to be the No. 1 forward on the depth chart coming into the season, Paterson was playing well in the preseason before a hamstring injury in mid-February forced him to the sidelines until late May, when he finally made his debut as a sub against the LA Galaxy.
Paterson would see action off of the bench in each of the Lions' next two games after his debut, only to be hit with the injury bug again. This time, he would miss almost two months before seeing the field again at Yankee Stadium against New York City FC.
And that would be the last time fans saw Paterson in an Orlando City uniform.
"Pato was part of the core team that helped kick off Orlando City's MLS debut and we are grateful for his contributions," said General Manager Paul McDonough in a team release. "Due to personal reasons, we have agreed to terminate his contract which allows him to return home. We wish him the very best of luck in the future."
Orlando City acquired Paterson on a six-month loan from Huddersfield Town back in January, then signed him to a multi-year MLS contract later in the year before his original loan deal expired.
The move frees up $150,000 in cap room, a roster spot and an international slot on the eve of the closing of Major League Soccer's summer transfer window.